- (of a name, noun, or adjective) designating a particular person or thing and written in English with an initial capital letter, as Joan, Chicago, Monday, American.
- having the force or function of a proper name: a proper adjective.
- excellent; capital; fine.
- good-looking or handsome.
Origin of proper
OTHER WORDS FROM properprop·er·ly, adverbprop·er·ness, nounun·prop·er, adjective
Words nearby proper
What is a basic definition of proper?
Proper is an adjective that describes something that is appropriate, adheres to polite behavior, or is correct. Proper is also used in grammar to refer to nouns that identify specific people, places, or things. The word proper has additional senses as an adjective, adverb, and noun.
Something is said to be proper if it is suitable or appropriate. For example, spring and summer are the proper seasons for growing plants because the weather is often warm and sunny, with frequent rain.
- Real-life examples: A parking lot is a proper place to leave your car. The South Pole is not the proper place to wear shorts. April Fool’s Day is a proper time to play jokes on people.
- Used in a sentence: She didn’t think the base of an active volcano was a proper spot for her summer home.
- Real-life examples: It is not considered proper to laugh during a funeral. A bathing suit is not the proper outfit to wear to a banquet. It is not proper (or smart) to insult royalty.
- Used in a sentence: Fast food was not the proper meal to serve at the fancy dinner party.
Proper can also mean that something is correct or accurate.
- Real-life examples: Eating with your mouth is not the proper way to eat something (and often leads to food falling out of your mouth). Your English teacher will insist that you use proper spelling and punctuation in your writing. In the United States, the right lane of the road is the proper one to drive on.
- Used in a sentence: I can never remember the proper spelling of the word “definitely.”
In English grammar, the word proper is used to refer to nouns and other words that identify particular people, places, or things. Proper words are almost always capitalized in English. Nouns that are not proper nouns are called common nouns and refer to any of a class of entities rather than a specific one, such as cat, tree, or ocean.
- Real-life examples: Albert Einstein is the proper noun referring to a famous German physicist. New York City is the proper noun referring to a city in the United States. Portuguese is the proper adjective that describes someone or something from the country of Portugal.
- Used in a sentence: Some proper nouns, like “iPad,” don’t follow typical capitalization rules.
Where does proper come from?
The first records of proper come from around 1250. It ultimately comes from the Latin word proprius, meaning “special.”
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What are some other forms related to proper?
What are some synonyms for proper?
What are some words that share a root or word element with proper?
What are some words that often get used in discussing proper?
How is proper used in real life?
Proper is a common word that most often refers to something being appropriate or correct.
Nothing pleases me more than people going out of their way to return their shopping cart to the proper place. START THE REVOLUTION #ReturnTheCart
— Josh Macuga (@JoshMacuga) June 27, 2018
At this time I want to give credit to the men and women in law enforcement who have been operating accordingly despite limited resources, have shown proper conduct during the State of Public Emergency in St. James. They are doing the job that they have sworn to do.
— Andrew Holness (@AndrewHolnessJM) January 30, 2018
My favorite thing about the #MarchforScience is how all the signs have proper spelling and grammar.
— Hemant Mehta (@hemantmehta) April 22, 2017
Try using proper!
True or False?
A grassy park is a proper place to have a relaxing picnic.
How to use proper in a sentence
Self-isolation in combination with easily available testing could be an excellent way to tamp down both viruses—according to epidemiologists, proper testing is a big factor in helping us return to relative normality.The COVID-19 pandemic is about to collide with flu season. Here’s what to expect.|Sara Chodosh|August 26, 2020|Popular-Science
You know, being able to tell right away if there’s irregular activity and report it to the proper authorities, that’s really an important part of the role that we play.The Economics of Sports Gambling (Ep. 388 Rebroadcast)|Stephen J. Dubner|August 20, 2020|Freakonomics
Other vaccines bring in a unique, representative piece of the virus—a protein or a polysaccharide—that isn’t harmful, but still inspires the proper immune response.
They will also touch on new forecasting abilities with Google Analytics that have just been launched and proper measurement.Google and Ignite Visibility to host advanced paid media event you won’t want to miss|Sponsored Content: Ignite Visibility|August 12, 2020|Search Engine Land
Besides, proper implementation of VSM enables the following benefits.Defining value stream management for SEO business owners|Connie Benton|August 11, 2020|Search Engine Watch
We need to recover and grow the idea that the proper answer to bad speech is more and better speech.
He could deliver a quick, effective speech, or hold a proper press conference.
And so, he says he left prison without proper ID, just his release papers and the “dress-out gear” he was given by the state.His First Day Out Of Jail After 40 Years: Adjusting To Life Outside|Justin Rohrlich|January 3, 2015|DAILY BEAST
But those incidents are due to mistakes and leaks, not proper fracking procedures.
A portrait of him was done once in which the collar point was made to sit in its proper place.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days|David Freeman|December 13, 2014|DAILY BEAST
She herself had worn them in her youth, and they were the proper bonnets for "growing girls."The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3)|Charles James Wills
That it is a reasonable and proper thing to ask our statesmen and politicians: what is going to happen to the world?The Salvaging Of Civilisation|H. G. (Herbert George) Wells
And this summer it seemed to her that she never would be able to take proper care of her nestful of children.The Tale of Grandfather Mole|Arthur Scott Bailey
Seen thus poverty became rather a blessing than a curse, or at least a dispensation prescribing the proper lot of man.The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice|Stephen Leacock
Not only are they required to do things in a proper orderly manner, but people have to treat them with due deference.Children's Ways|James Sully